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Photo Credit: NHL.com

Canucks trade Erik Gudbranson to Pittsburgh for Tanner Pearson

The Canucks have traded defenseman Erik Gudbranson to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Tanner Pearson. The trade is one-for-one with no salary retained.

The 26-year-old forward Pearson has nine goals and 15 points in 61 games this season split between the Kings and Penguins. He was a first-round draft pick of the Kings in 2012 and was a member of the club’s Stanley Cup Winning team in 2014.

Pearson was traded to Pittsburgh back in November after managing no goals and just one assist in his first 17 games of the season with LA. He’s just two years removed from a career-high 24 goal, 44-point season and has two years left on a contract paying him $3.75 million per season.

Gudbranson spent three years in Vancouver after being acquired from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Jared McCann in 2016. The 27-year-old rearguard has two goals, six assists and a minus-27 rating in 57 games this season. The 6’5″ defensive defenseman failed to make much of an impact during his time with the Canucks and should benefit from a change of scenery.

With youngster and exciting defensive prospect Quinn Hughes expected to arrive in Vancouver soon, the Canucks appear to make off well in this deal. Gudbranson is signed for $4 million per year through 2021.

Gudbranson opened up about his time in Vancouver to TSN 1040:

“Honestly, I’m not too proud of it. I don’t think I played very well. I worked hard every single day, came to the rink and tried to get it together. I want to thank the Canucks for the time the spent, taking care of my injuries, and treating me with nothing but respect, and I really enjoyed my time here. I just wish I could have been better.”

Gudbranson played a physical game and provided grit to a team that was lacking in that department. The Canucks will miss his style of play, but they’re getting a proven scorer who should get an opportunity to be a top-six forward.

The Gudbranson deal comes amidst trade rumours around blueliner Alex Edler. According to GM Jim Benning, the Canucks did receive calls on Edler while trying to negotiate a new contract for the Swedish blueliner. Benning went to Edler’s agent with a couple trades, but the long-tenured Canuck was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause.

    • Yeah I was on the fence with Gudbranson because I liked his presence…but considering my first reaction to the trade was joy, I now know what side of the fence I was on after all.

      • We’re all fans and hope for the best. We have different views on how the team gets there.

        I just hope that its not open season on the young / little guys now and the opposition doesn’t liberties on Markstrom. The team is so small and lacking a physical response. Who’s taking on Getzlaf tonight if he takes a run at Petterssen? No one really jumps to mind. Suspect Getzlaf realizes this and will play accordingly.

        • Pretty sure Guddy didn’t do much of that deterring when he was playing anyways. But I suspect they’re probably gonna look at keep MacEwen with the big club sooner rather than later for this role

  • Foundational trade. Another Benning bust exposed and he doesn’t even recoup a draft pick ffs. McCann and Guddy are now team mates, oh the irony.

    “I’m not a patient person. We expect to win because we hate losing. I can’t watch losing hockey. I can’t.” Jim Benning

    Get this loser Benning off my club NOW – he has ROBBED US all of five cr@ppy years we can never have back and told us Slugbranson was foundational. Does that mean Tanner Pearson is now foundational?

      • No, i’m not a flip flopping little bi*#h like you kooty. I didn’t want Guddy from DAY ONE and the fact that he is now traded after being called ‘foundational’ shows I was bang on. I NEVER wanted him. Period.

        • You’re a TOTAL flip flop MattyT, that’s why you change your name every week or two, you’re a switch hitter. <- Period. And even if you're LYING about not wanting big Eric, what about your misguided passion for Casey and Cody, huh?

  • When things were going to get rowdy. It was always nice to have this guy on our team. This team just got real soft in a hurry. I can’t think of a wimpier team in the league right now. Looks like we’re going after a top pairing RHD in the off season!

  • Benning could start with a house and turn it into a paperclip via trades.

    At least this gets one of the worst defenceman in the league off the team. Maybe he’ll flip Pearson for something?

    • I’m disappointed that Dahlen was traded before he had a chance to even finish the year with Utica. 29 pts in 50 games seemed pretty decent for a rookie season. Karlsson is FAR less accomplished, not sure what Benning sees in him.

      • Karlsson has size and good hands and plays down the middle. He has more time to develop and from reports I’ve heard he is ahead of where he was expected to be. I was excited about Dahlen, but there seems to be a few elements missing in his game. This is the kind of trade that will be much easier to analyze in 2-3 years.

          • It’s pretty much exclusively cause Dahlen’s agent demanded a trade. Another example of reactionary GM’ing

      • I wouldn’t write it off yet. In Linus Karlsson’s draft year he was rated a top forward in that league. He may not be putting up the same points as Dahlen did in his D+1 year, but you you have to remember Dahlen had Pettersson feeding him pucks.

    • On what basis are you making that comment? In the last 5 full seasons with LA, Pearson had an average Corsi/Fenwick of 55% (51-58%) with Carter and Toffoli with a PPG of 0.47 (143 pts in 308 games). That’s solid middle-6 complimentary scoring.

      • Yeah, funny how people can complain about declining value trades and not recognize the value increase here. Even if we end up flipping Pearson down the road, I expect a better return than what Guddy was worth. Look forward and build value, maybe a Pearson plus someone nets us a top 4 defenseman, who knows? All I know is this was a solid trade.

    • Pearson is a top 9 left winger that hopefully can tap into his scoring touch and be in the top 6. The Canucks’ biggest hole other than RHD is LW, especially when you consider how sensitive post concussion syndrome is and could result in Baertschi potentially never playing again (hope to gawd this isn’t the case). A hole was filled and losing Guddy may be an addition via subtraction. What kind of value did he have after the body of work he put in Vancouver? He has the draft pedigree, size, and premiere position, but doesn’t play hockey well (for Vancouver at least). I am curious who Canucks ice tonight on D though.

      • What frustrates me about Gudbranson is just how it exemplifies the problems in pro scouting and player evaluation with this management group. They overpaid for him, and then rather than trading him when they had apparently some very good offers on the table at the last deadline, they re-signed him to a three year deal. Here we are a year later and Gudbranson has played *exactly* how anyone who’s been following along would expect him to play, and management has decided now that he’s bad and they should trade him.

        Pearson is solid return for Gudbranson at this point – the issue is that it should never have gotten to *this point*. They shouldn’t have traded for him in the first place, and they should have taken what was available last year for him, and they don’t seem to be learning from these mistakes.

  • Gudbranson is a flawed player, but no one else on the team can throw a check like him or answer the bell the way he can. I am curious how team toughness will be addressed in the off-season.

  • Brian Burke, Kelly Hrudey & Nick Kypreos all hated this trade for Vancouver and not because they don’t like Pearson. They all think Vancouver just got awfully soft, awfully fast.

    I guess now we find out if the old school hockey guys know anything cuz I’m an old school hockey guy and I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, we are awful soft on the back end, especially with Hughes and his 180lbs on the way. On the other hand Gudbranson was so hard to watch game in and game out. I know from a hockey sense we are better off and man, just to stop listening/reading to the same negative stuff about how bad he was every day like it was some new discovery thrills me. I’m a little concerned the summer may have been a better time for this deal just so guys like Petey, Boeser & Hughes have a little more to protect them down the stretch.
    If they come out of it unscathed, it was more than worth it just not to read about him again and here’s hoping Pearson can score 20 again and make this trade a win.

    • Agreed in that I’m also sick of reading the “worst defenceman ever” themed articles. For that reason alone, glad he’s been traded.

      Canucks don’t have much to lose with this deal. Time to move on.

      • There was so much conviction, it made me wonder if that had actually watched him play. Definitely shows he was still valuable to old school guys that hadn’t actually seen him play. We’ll soon see if face punching abilities and good looks were at all valuable or if they’re better off with hard work & better corsi of Biega

    • It was a well timed trade. Gudbranson needed to move on. The Canucks are out of the playoff race and should start a lot more youth in the coming days. Surprised at how little offense the veterans have supplied over the last few weeks. Time to audition players for next year. Would be nice to see McKwen back up for his toughness.

    • Kypreos thought the Canucks absolutely robbed FLA when the trade happened. Burke is old school. I still like toughness but you have to be an actual player these days. Guddy was just completely lost out there. I think Zack can pick up a bit of that slack but it’s not as important as it used to be. Scrums after the whistle, fights, etc are all down. It’s not the same game.

      I hate Bennings summer spending record but I actually think this situation is the right opportunity to shore up RHD. The Canucks have the cap space, the roster hole, and a paper thin prospect pool on the right side.

  • The whole Gudbrandon story is a complete failure by Benning, but I’m very happy that he managed to get rid of Gudbrandon. He was a terrible defenceman for Vancouver and it was time to move on. Glad we didn’t have to retain salary.

  • This Dahlen trade is a head scratcher. The only justification I can think of is the team didn’t think they could place him on the roster now (insane) and so opted for a guy a couple of years later in his development. Haven’t heard JB’s reasoning. What I worry about is SJ has been able to develop players like this and keep the NHL team at a high level while the Canucks fell off the cliff. Hope its not a SJ fleecing of the Orca gang. If Dahlen looks good in next year or so, its a firing offense.

    • By the time we know if this trade was a success or failure, Benning will either have established this team as a playoff contender moving forward and Dahlen wasn’t necessary or he will be the ex-GM.
      If Benning doesn’t have this going in the right direction by the end of next year he will not be back. This trade is years from being decided but I get the feeling Benning got the Hunter Shinkaruk vibe from Dahlen.

  • So Dahlen for Burrows now looks pretty pointless and the kid never even got a chance to rekindle his proven chemistry with Pettersson. Wow, just wow.

    What I will say about Guddy and McCann though is why are one of the best run franchises of the last ten years plus, a three time cup winner, investing in two players this entire fanbase absolutely slated and still do. What are they seeing that we aren’t?

    • I have to agree petey. For sure they should have called him up and played him with EP for a few games before making a decision like this. They would have had absolutely nothing to lose, and if/when this backfires, Benning will be fired. Wonder what Pettersson thinks of the trade? Also, welcome to the Canucks Ryan Spooner. I mean, Tanner Pearson. Sorry, Josh Leivo. They might not be top 6, but for sure they are top 9, huh? Oh well. At least they got rid of the worst defenseman in the league.

      • I like the take Boyd, I would have really liked to have seen Dahlen audition with EP at the NHL level, have them rekindle the magic from the Allsvenskan. Maybe Dahlen would have stepped up. I think the drawbacks would have been how that would have looked to all the other prospects paying their dues in Utica ahead of Dahlen on the development curve and could have revealed his deficiencies prior to a trade. We’ll never know. I’m definitely curious what Pettersson thinks about it but he looked plenty happy during the win last night.

  • I’ll definitely admit that Guddy was not the dman that we all expected him to be as a former 3rd overall pick plus what we gave up for him. I also think this is ultimately a good trade for the Canucks. But…this total hate-on (not so much here, but on Twitter) for a, from what I’ve determined as an outsider, total stand-up guy whom team-mates appear to love really grinds my gears

    (insert Peter Griffin Grinds My Gears still).

    • Benning said some young players feel entitled and don’t want to pay their dues.
      Dahlen’s agent requested the trade.
      Edler would not waive but was asked.
      Pearson is insurance for Sven’s uncertainty..

  • I’m wondering if this reflects ( aquire Pearson ) a concern if Beartschi is not coming back ?? The hole that’s left is of course RHD which I suspect JB is looking at Meyers come the summer, but he’ll have competition from other teams. I can’t see Chatfield making the jump, this season for injury reasons has been mostly out of the line up in Utica. I’m think Schenn might up his game as this is his last chance. Who knows maybe Tryamkin ill find his was back.But the RHD needs addressing.